Basics Of A Cash Back Site
If you are an avid online shopper and you want to make some extra cash, cash back sites are exactly right for you. Ebates is one of the oldest and most popular websites among the many sites that give cash back to online shoppers.
These days you can buy anything from online shops. However, Ebates is not really a shopping portal. Instead they undertake to give you back your cash if you use their affiliate links when shopping. Ebates has links to a number of websites-and this includes prominent retailers such as Amazon, Lowe’s, Best Buy, Kohl’s and so on. Being an affiliate simply means that cash back sites are paid a commission whenever they refer you to a merchant and you make a purchase. Sites like Ebates split this commission with you, which means you get a certain percentage of the purchase amount. Everyone benefits from this scenario; you pay the merchant, who then pays cash back site and finally the cash back site pays you.
Sites like Ebates have affiliate links with more than 1,500 online stores. This provides you with a variety of choices and you will not have to pay a dime to use.
How They Work
The first thing you need to do is to sign up using an email address. Immediately you sign up you will be rewarded with a ten dollar gift card. Ebates (of sites of the like) will send you the gift card when you make a purchase worth twenty-five dollars or more. It is advisable to have a PayPal account when you sign up. This is the account that will be used for payments, and the email address you use must be the same email that will be on the PayPal account.
After you log onto the Ebates website you will see a wide range of online shops for you to choose from. There is also an 'all stores' button which enables you to view a complete list of all the online shops that are available. To shop, all you need to do is to click directly to an online shop. If you do not wish to be signing on to Ebates every time you shop, you have the option of installing the Ebates cash back button on the browser that you are using. The points you earn will be added automatically to your account when you complete your shopping session-normally within twenty-four hours.
Getting paid using the Ebates payment scheme is a straightforward process, but remember you will only get paid four times per year. This may seem quite slow in today’s internet age where many of us are used to getting instant payments on our PayPal accounts, but this is how Ebates has been set up.
Instead of using PayPal, a check can be mailed to you. This is not recommended since it is slow and the check can even get lost in the mail. If you are in a generous mood, you can organize to have the payout sent to a family member or to a charitable organization. Ebates will pay for the mailing and the transaction fees (if you are using PayPal). Ebates also runs a generous scheme where you can refer somebody and earn some money. When you refer two friends, you can earn fifty dollars and five dollars for each additional friend.
Upside of Cash Back Sites
1. Free Cash Back
The best reason for shopping through Ebates is that you get some cash back whenever you shop-something that you would have done anyway. Better still, it is completely free and the only investment is the time you use to log in and choose the places to earn the cash back. If you decide to install the cash back button, the shopping process will be less intrusive and after some time, you will not even notice that you are using Ebates.
2. No Ambiguity
The amount of cash back that you will get is clearly stated. The percentage is clearly indicated on the list of stores, and it is shown again the moment you click and enter the shopping portal that you choose.
3. Great Customer Care
There are a number of complaints against Ebates on the Better Business Bureau website. The most impressive thing is the manner in which they have been resolved. Most of the complaints relate to missing payments. It is a time-consuming process, but Ebates goes out of its way to fix any problems. It is also important to point out that Ebates has been in existence since 2000. Today, organizations do not survive very long if they fail to live up to people’s expectations. Clearly, Ebates would not be around today if it was bent on scamming people.
Downside of Cash Back Sites
1. Missing Payments
A company that only pays out four times a year should not have a problem of missed payments. This is an issue that affects some members of the site, and it forms the majority of complaints against Ebates on the Better Business Bureau website. There are also many online reviews focusing on this issue. Fortunately, Ebates seems quite helpful when tackling the complaints relating to missed payouts. Still, it can be a problem-especially when you consider that you will only be paid four times in one year.
2. Limited Number of Categories
Even though Ebates is affiliated with many stores, you will not be able to shop in every category of these stores. For instance, Amazon sells almost anything that one may want to buy. But if you wanted to purchase a computer at a competitive price on Amazon, you may not get cash back on it. This is because it is not among the categories that are covered by Ebates cash back. Even books, which made Amazon famous, are not covered. The shopping categories on Ebates can be extremely limited, depending on your online shopping preferences. Even some big retailers such as Apple are not eligible for the cash back scheme.
3. Ways To Maximize Your Earnings
One of the best ways of maximizing your earnings on Ebates is applying for Ebates Cash Back Visa Credit Card. But you should only do this if you have a good credit score. With the credit card, you will get an extra three percent cash back on a lot of the purchases that you make using Ebates. However, there are some restrictions, especially for shopping that is associated with hotels and travel. To accumulate points, you need to be disciplined. You should not apply for the credit card if you will have problems paying off the monthly balances, if your credit score is low or if you own too many credit cards.
Because credit cards make people shop more, only get the Ebates credit card if you think you can get some reasonable cash back on online purchases. Otherwise, stick to the credit cards that you currently have since they may also have their own attractive rewards.
Is It Worth Your Time?
Cash back sites enable you to earn while shopping online, and it is free. Whereas a cash back of one to six percent may not seem to be much, it may add up over time, particularly if you are a big shopper. Ebates is better than the survey sites where you must spend time answering some questions in order to qualify. To get the best experience on Ebates you need to remain organized and avoid shopping just so that you can get cash back. Obviously, there is simply no need of spending a dollar so that you can get a nickel back.
Because Ebates clearly uses the term 'up to', remember that you should not expect to get six per cent cash back each time you shop. To avoid disappointment, assume that you will get paid one per cent. This way, if you earn more, it will be a pleasant surprise. If you look beyond these shortcomings, you will find that Ebates provides an amazingly easy and effortless way of earning some extra cash. It is totally legitimate, and there are many online testimonials about its successes.